Archives for September 2008

Holy Rolling Babies, Batman!

This video was taken on Friday, when Jacob was 6 weeks and 2 days old:

Guess we won’t be leaving him unattended on the change table. I don’t think Hannah did this until she was 5 months old. I am very, very afraid.

Kevin and Amanda

Last Saturday we attended the wedding of Jon’s cousin Kevin and his bride Amanda. Their families are local, and so the ceremony and reception were both within 10 minutes or so of our house. In fact, it was so close that even 1-month-old Jacob and I ventured out to join in the festivities. I had a good time, but Jacob mostly slept. Newborns!

Slow Down

When Hannah was a newborn, I wanted time to speed up. To be fair, the newborn stage with a preemie lasts a very long time. To compare, Hannah was 3 months old when she first smiled at me, and Jacob did it a few days ago at around 1 month. Given that these early months are all sleep deprivation and basic survival, waiting for that first little inkling of positive feedback was really hard.

More than that, I was an excited and nervous first-time mother with Hannah. I had all of these irrational fears that somehow my baby wouldn’t be OK. That she wouldn’t walk, or talk, or be toilet-trained. Each achievement was a sign that my kid would be all right. Plus, I sort of enjoyed the novelty of every little milestone.

This time, knowing that Jacob is likely my last baby, I don’t want time to pass so quickly. Every outfit that Jacob outgrows, every ounce that he gains, I feel a little sad. I’m happy that he’s thriving, and that he’s a healthy little guy. But I don’t want to lose this time. These moments are slipping through my fingers, and I will never get to experience them again. It makes me feel a little wistful.

Plus, I will be honest here, it’s really hard chasing around 1 mobile kid. I am afraid of having to chase 2 mobile kids, especially knowing how often they like to run in opposite directions. Can’t my little newborn bundle just stay that way a while longer, and cut Mama some slack?

Words of Wisdom

At my La Leche League meeting today a mother shared some words of wisdom. She also has a 3 1/2 year old and a new baby. Her chiropractor told her, about managing her two children, “Only one of them will remember this.” It really hit me.

Because Jacob is so small my first instinct is often to focus on him. But let’s face it, his emotional needs are minimal. Hannah, on the other hand, is a fully-fledged little person on the go. I can hurt her feelings, or at least create unpleasant memories, if I don’t tend to her.

So, thank you to that mother and her chiropractor for sharing sage words with this new mama-of-two. 🙂

Losing my Religion

The big questions in life have been troubling me lately. Why do bad things happen? Why do some people have so much, and others have so little? Does God exist? What does it all mean?

I’ve never spent that much time considering the meaning of it all. It’s only been since Jacob arrived that this is hitting me. I think it’s because this time around I feel very, very lucky. I have a marvelous husband, a perfect full-term baby boy, and a fabulous little girl. We’re all healthy and happy, and I didn’t do anything in particular to merit this good fortune.

So why do I get this? Why do I get this when others do not? Why do I live such a charmed life? And how is it, if the universe is unfolding as it should, that babies die? That families are shattered? That some people are born in war zones and famines, and others are born in (by global standards) the lap of luxury?

I don’t know what I will teach my children. As a Unitarian, I do not believe in a single Truth, a one size fits all solution to life. You could say I am religious, but not spiritual. I value ritual and tradition and community, but I don’t walk in the woods and commune with nature or meditate. I’m not sure which way to go, and I’m not sure how to resolve my understanding of the world with some broader, universal meaning. I still pray, but I’m not sure if anyone hears. I still feel wonder and awe, and a strong presence of love in the world, but I’m not sure that it has any sort of supernatural origin.

So, I go to church, and love my family, and do my best every day to be patient and kind. I feel very keenly that the time I have now with my children is fleeting, and I try to treasure the moments. Some days I do better than others. I hope it will be enough, my life, my offering to humanity and the universe. I trust that if God does exist, that God understands my heart, and that my efforts will suffice. What else could a loving Parent do?

Give Me a Head With Hair

Jacob loves to grab my hair. Especially when he’s upset, he just takes a big handful and holds on for dear life. It’s sort of sweet, this little monkey baby grabbing on to Mama’s hair to feel secure. Or at least it would be sweet if it didn’t hurt.

My hair is longer now than when Hannah was a newborn. Here I am with Big Sister back in the day:

And here I am now, with Baby Brother:

I can see how, with my hair extending down past my shoulders it’s easier for a baby to get a handful. And I understand why both my mother and Jon’s mother went from long hair to short hair pretty much immediately post-baby. Now the question is, what will I do? And supposing that I do decide to crop my locks, where on earth will I find the time to visit the hairdresser?

Hannah Loves Weddings

Yesterday I sat on the couch and breastfed the baby, catching up on whatever was on the Tivo. However, Hannah and Jon had a much more eventful day as they were off to Harrison to celebrate the wedding of our friends Jody and Donna. Christy was there, too, and Hannah was glad to see her:

All reports indicate that Hannah had a great time. There was cake, and dancing, and fireworks. There was a bride, who Hannah now speaks of in rapturous tones. Hannah dusted off the flower girl dress from James and Sara’s wedding, and made sure that she even had the same hairdo, so that she would be appropriately attired. This kid was just in heaven, and I’ve been hearing about it all day today. Last night, of course, she arrived home asleep.

We have another wedding, for one of Jon’s cousins, the weekend after next. Hannah’s already looking forward to it. After that, though, we’re done for the foreseeable future. My poor kid will be very disappointed.

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